Syllabus

Video Game Design Using GameMaker

“By the end of this week, you will…”

Week 1
Determine your level of preparation for the course.
Model appropriate use of the course platform and discussion topics.
Download, open, and use the course's game development software.
Recognize three common game genres.
Give original examples of each game genre.

Week 2
Identify and use the basic features of the Game Maker interface.
Create new Sprites, Objects, and Rooms in Game Maker.
Develop simple events and actions in Game Maker.
Develop and modify input device commands using the mouse and keyboard.
Evaluate the pros and cons of developing with Game Maker, as a second-week user.
Support your choice for favorite game genre with thoughtful evidence.
Generate a first attempt at a Maze game that integrates this week's new features.

Week 3
Select native background images and sounds for use in Game Maker.
Identify and use conditional statements in a program.
Formulate and develop a scoring mechanism in Game Maker.
Formulate and develop a turn or "life" system in Game Maker.
Define some of the design features that make a game "good" and some of the features that make one "bad."
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to Maze game guidelines.
Generate a second attempt at the Maze game.

Week 4
Recognize and interpret design documents for video games.
Create a design document for an Adventure Game that will be written in Game Maker.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to design document guidelines.

Week 5
Modify existing graphics and create original graphics using the Game Maker Sprite Editor.
Create animated Sprites using the Game Maker Sprite Editor.
Generate a first attempt at an Adventure game that integrates this week's new features.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to Adventure game guidelines.

Week 6
Identify and evaluate the design and implementation of some current game releases.
Generate a second attempt at an Adventure game that integrates this week's new features.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to Adventure game guidelines.

Week 7
Create an array of more complex animated Sprites using the Game Maker Sprite Editor.
Evaluate the pros and cons of developing graphics in Game Maker.

Week 8
Modify the size and view of a game's layout and viewing area in Game Maker.
Develop new game mechanics in Game Maker that enable Sprites to mimic jumping and falling actions.
Evaluate the pros and cons of developing Sprite mechanics in Game Maker.

Week 9
Create and modify sound files using the Audacity software program.
Select new sounds and import them for use in Game Maker.
Create a design document for a Platform Game that will be written in Game Maker.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to design document guidelines.

Week 10
Identify potential careers in or near game design.
Select potential careers in or near game design and evaluate and explain their appeal.
Generate a first attempt at a Platform game that integrates this week's new features.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to Platform game guidelines.

Week 11
Generate a second attempt at a Platform game that integrates this week's new features.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to Platform game guidelines.

Week 12
Recognize the features and limitations of a Scrolling Shooter game in Game Maker.
Create a design document for a Scrolling Shooter game that will be written in Game Maker.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to design document guidelines.

Week 13
Develop new game mechanics in Game Maker that enable scrolling and view changes.
Develop new game mechanics in Game Maker that enable spawning of new Sprites.
Develop a mechanism for projectile shooting in Game Maker.
Generate a first attempt at a Scrolling Shooter game that integrates this week's new features.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to Scrolling Shooter game guidelines.
Give examples of helpful web resources for novice game developers.

Week 14
Determine the arguments for and against the use of violence in video games.
Choose and support a position in the argument for or against the use of violence in video games.
Generate a second attempt at a Scrolling Shooter game that integrates this week's new features.
Compose feedback for fellow students that evaluates their adherence to Scrolling Shooter game guidelines.

Week 15
Select and support a "Top 3" list of student-authored games.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the course (using the VHS Student Survey).
Predict future achievements in the realm of game design and development.